“It appears the Attorney General has realized the error of his ways,” said former U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon, Bruce Pettway’s attorney.Rickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Aug 11 2019 9:25 PM
MONTGOMERY: Alabama Attorney General Releases Businessman’s Funds Following Federal Judge’s Ruling
BIRMINGHAM, AL – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is releasing more than $200,000 he improperly seized from Birmingham businessman Bruce Pettway’s company bank account in a dispute over bingo operations.
Marshall agreed to release the funds Friday following a Thursday ruling from Chief United States District Judge Karon Owen Bowdre, who questioned the attorney general’s lack of good faith in the matter.
Although the company’s BBVA bank account is in Birmingham, the funds were seized from a BVVA branch in Madison County, Alabama.
Bruce Pettway performed work for a bingo operation that was shut down by the Attorney General earlier this year.
Records show that Bruce Pettway’s company, Employers Business Consulting, was paid $15,500 by a bingo operations company licensed in Jefferson County.
But Marshall froze $240,000 in Bruce Pettway’s company account in Madison County, creating a hardship for him.
“It appears the Attorney General has realized the error of his ways,” said former U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon, Bruce Pettway’s attorney.
“By seizing the entirety of Mr. Pettway’s business funds, Attorney General Steve Marshall violated the protections guaranteed to each citizen in the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
Clemon said governmental entities too often improperly seize funds, and individuals who are not familiar with the law are left to feel as if they have no recourse.
Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed produced a report that showed in many instances, Alabama uses profit-driven civil asset forfeiture to undercut due process and property rights around the state.
Bruce Pettway said the move by Marshall was an attempt to hurt him financially and to tarnish and ruin the Pettway name while retaliating in a dispute between Marshall and his brother, Mark Pettway, the first black man elected sheriff in Jefferson County.
Earlier this year, Marshall publicly demanded that the sheriff shut down bingo halls in Jefferson County although he is aware of bingo operations in other areas in Alabama.